I’ve been under the weather with a bit of a head cold but I did manage to finish an advance copy of The Tea Planter’s Wife (Dinah Jefferies). It’s a great book. In fact I sat up until 2 in the morning to finish it. The book kept me interested right to the end.
It’s set in Ceylon in the 1920s and 30s. Gwen is a young bride who has just arrived in Ceylon to join her husband.
It a bit of a culture shock to say the least. Her husband is occupied with plantation business and as he is often away he has an estate manager. Gwen is told she is in charge of the household including the inside servants. She is not to concern herself with the plantation workers. She does. She helps one who is injured and it is made very clear to her she must not interfere. She is horrified by the racism she sees.
There are secrets. Her husband was married before but his wife and child died. No one will talk about this.
She soon falls pregnant and gives birth to a healthy son. Gwen has to make a very difficult choice. This gives rise to more secrets. However her husband is happy he has a boy. I’m not going to give any more away.
The books is really well written. The author is very good at describing locations and giving you a sense of place. It is complex enough to make it good story but not so complicated that you give up. I think this is probably one of the most enjoyable books I have read this year.